Oct. 2, 2008
BY Jonathan Crompton, For SN Today
It's tough being where we're at. That's why we have to come together as a team and overcome this start.
Personally, I know I have to play better in order to give us a chance to win. It's frustrating because I have been practicing really well, but that hasn't translated to the games. There are several different aspects I need to improve on, but like I said, I just have to do a better job to give our team a better shot.
The quarterback competition this week, that's part of it. It's something I have to do for the team right now. Coach Dave Clawson, our offensive coordinator, talked to me in his office about it. He just told me, `Hey, this is something we have to do.' And I understand, because I haven't been playing up to my ability.
My family and friends have been doing a really good job supporting me through this, and they always will. I'm focused on keeping our guys up, too. That's part of quarterbacking. You have to be a leader. You have to make sure you have your head up no matter what.
Right now, my goal is to go out there and work hard, play better and player smarter. That's what Nick (Stephens) and I both are doing, just going out there every day to get better.
There's been some negative talk in the media about coach Phillip Fulmer and our performance, but for all that guys that are here, for the guys in the locker room, he is Tennessee football. That's all we've known growing up, is Coach Fulmer. He built the program to what we know it, so people shouldn't judge him on our 1-3 start.
We're just trying to stay together as a team. We're not trying to point fingers at anybody. We win as a team and we lose as a team. Everybody knows that last year we started out slow, and we ended up in the SEC championship game. This year, we're off to a slow start, but we can still end up in the championship game if we put our minds to it.
-- As told to Benson Taylor
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